Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Drunken Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

The one thing I managed to do this past summer was stock up on fresh fruit. My soul motivation was to be able to reach into my pantry as the chill hit the air to get a little taste of summer. The fruit made its way into several canning projects including strawberry balsamic jam and baked goods like my orange raspberry muffins. When cherry season rolled around I wanted to switch it up a bit.

Put ’em Up, by Sherri Brooks Vinton, has several cherry recipes I was eager to try. With an eye towards homemade gifts for Christmas, I decided to make her Drunken Cherries. I let word slip out that I made them and I barely had enough on hand when Christmas rolled around.

As Sherri indicates in her book, the cherries are phenomenal over ice cream or as an extra special ingredient in a Manhattan. I decided to dress up a basic cheesecake recipe. There is no need to use an extravagant recipe. The cherries bring an incredible sweet bite to the cake.

I realize that if you live in the United States you are probably knee deep in winter and unlikely to find a surplus of cherries in your area. Take a moment and bookmark this recipe. A little planning will go a long way. You’ll be so happy to have this sweet little concoction in your pantry come this time next year.

I was a little overzealous with this experiment. The cheesecake recipe I used did not call for a mini tart pan. I wanted something cute and little so I decided to experiment. Lesson learned. The mini tart pan I used was not ideal for the texture and density of a mini graham cracker crumb base. Next time I’ll stick with what the recipe called for and use a regular sized tart pan or spring form pan instead.

Right before I decided to play around with creating a recipe for the filling I did a quick search for drunken cherry desserts and found the perfect recipe for a drunken cherry topping/filling on Local Kitchen. I’m so glad I took a minute to do a search because the filling is a perfect compliment to the cake.

No Bake Cheesecake recipe from Joy of Baking

Drunken Cherry Topping/Filling recipe from Local Kitchen
Drunken Cherries


1 pound sweet cherries, such as Bing, stemmed but not pitted

1 1/2 cups bourbon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water


Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the syrup into the cherry-filled jar. Cover and shake. Let rest for at least 1 week. Keeps at room temperature for up to 1 year.
*Excerpted from Put ’em Up! (c) by Sherri Brooks Vinton, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

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24 Responses to “Drunken Mini Cherry Cheesecakes”

  1. 1

    Kristina — January 25, 2012 @ 7:21 PM

    I love bite size cheesecake. I love alcohol infused desserts. I love the idea of these! Photos are gorgeous.

  2. 2

    Janet@FCTC — January 25, 2012 @ 8:01 PM

    This looks great! I soooo want that book now! as well as those cherries

  3. 3

    Happy When Not Hungry — January 25, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

    These look beautiful and so delicious!

  4. 4

    Lisa — January 25, 2012 @ 8:04 PM

    It’s about time someone liquored up cheesecake topping! Those drunken cherries look outstanding. The baby cheesecakes are just too adorable ‘and’ drool inducing for words. I would definitely get wasted off of these because I’m a lightweight, and could never stop at one.

  5. 5

    Deanna — January 25, 2012 @ 8:59 PM

    I guess its time for me to start praying to the berry and cherry gods for an early harvest. Where have these been all my life?

  6. 6

    Kim Bee — January 25, 2012 @ 9:42 PM

    Okay I now worship you. This is amazing. Cherry cheesecake is my fave thing in the world.

  7. 7

    Terra — January 25, 2012 @ 10:52 PM

    Oh I am excited to see this recipe! My friend growing canned a special cherry recipe, I don’t know the recipe, but I loved them. I think I need to enjoy this delicious treat soon! Hugs, Terra

  8. 8

    Maureen — January 26, 2012 @ 4:35 AM

    I looked at your photos and instantly started salivating! They’re wonderful!

  9. 9

    Simply Tia — January 26, 2012 @ 6:36 AM

    These are really pretty photos and those mini cheesecakes are so inviting. What’s more, is the topping. Bourbon soaked cherries? I love the idea!!! I think that, combined with the wonderful flavor of the cheesecake will make for an absolutely divine and decadent dessert! Well done.

  10. 10

    Sandra — January 26, 2012 @ 8:17 AM

    I love boozy desserts and this one is very pretty, bookmarking it.

  11. 11

    M. — January 26, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

    These look amazing, but I was wondering why the cherries are not pitted? Would it cause a problem to do so?

    • Wendy replied: — January 26th, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

      Great question! I don’t think it would present a problem to pit the cherries before preserving them in the bourbon; however, I don’t think it is necessary here as along as you warn those you are serving that the cherries are not pitted. I really only pit cherries when I’m canning them. Totally up to you.

  12. 12

    Kathy — January 26, 2012 @ 11:36 AM

    Sadly, I don’t have cherries right now. You’re photos are beautiful nonetheless!

  13. 13

    M. — January 26, 2012 @ 2:33 PM

    Thanks Wendy, I will try this when I see cherries popping up in the stores/market here. I think I will pit them, have a cherrypit fobia :)

  14. 14

    Maureen M — January 26, 2012 @ 4:01 PM

    Great idea! If you don’t have fresh or home canned cherries, commercially canned ones should work beautifully – and they are pitted. A favorite of mine is the Oregon Fruit Products Dark Sweet Cherries. They come in a syrup, so you can use that syrup and there will be less syrup you will need to make on your own. Sharing cheesecakes that I don’t have to bake makes this all the more appealing.

  15. 15

    Jen — January 26, 2012 @ 4:11 PM

    Can I ask you where you got those mini cupcake stand? It is so cute!!!

  16. 16

    Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! — January 27, 2012 @ 10:25 AM

    Cherries have been available in my supermarkets here in Colorado. I think they’re imported from Chile, as it’s summer time down there for them.

  17. 17

    Eliana — January 30, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

    I would happy enjoy these drunken cherries all by their lonesome. They look ridiculously delicious.

  18. 18

    fatpiginthemarket — January 30, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

    You got me…I’m making drunken cherries next year. The name alone was enough to sway me but once you added them to cheesecake I was all in.

  19. 19

    Alaiyo Kiasi — January 31, 2012 @ 1:03 PM

    Love this idea. The cherries in the photo are perfect–and so are your photos. Just beautiful!

  20. 20

    Jersey Girl Cooks — February 2, 2012 @ 7:48 AM

    These look great. I am saving this recipe for June although I have seen a few cherries in the markets.

  21. 21

    Kiran @ — February 7, 2012 @ 7:14 PM

    That looks absolutely delicious!! Cheesecake + alcohol = Happy Kiran 😀

  22. 22

    patsy — February 10, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

    I have only done a little bit of canning, but might need to pick up this book so I can do more of it when the wamer months are back.

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